Computer keyboard with only 11 buttons for people with motor impairments
- Key2enable Assistive Technology MENA Ltd
- Country of Implementation
- United Arab Emirates
- Asia & Pacific
- Start Year
- First published
“Key2enable’s solution is not just another technological tool but a catalyst for change” Esha Khurshid, Chief Visionary Officer, Key2enable Assistive Technology MENA Ltd.
Key2enable is an American-Brazilian start-up, also present in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). In 2018 the company presented the Key-X keyboard for persons with physical or intellectual disabilities, an accessible multifunctional keyboard with only 11 touch-sensitive buttons that enables users to easily operate any kind of smartphone, tablet, or computer. Between 2018 and 2022, 2,500 Key-X keyboards have been sold across 28 countries. The smart device is used in schools, rehabilitation centres, hospitals, and in homes.
Conventional keyboards can be difficult for people with physical or motor impairments due to the number, size, and placing of buttons.
Solution, Innovation and Impact
The Key-X multifunctional smart keyboard uses large, well-spaced, and touch-sensitive keys to allow use of the panel without needing much force, while being robust enough for rough touches. The keyboard makes typing easy through activation of iconographic keys in double sequences, thus allowing the typing of every character available on a conventional keyboard. Key-X also works as a cursor, allowing precision control and all the functions of a regular mouse, such as right and left click and double click. It can be used on different types of devices, such as computers, notebooks, and smartphones, and needs no additional software to be installed. The company has also developed a range of accessory products, such as A-blinx, an adaptive switch triggered by an eye blink, and X-Queeze, a pneumatic trigger. In 2022 there were over 10,000 users of the Key-X keyboard in some 700 schools and 170 rehabilitation centres as well as in homes. The smart keyboard is available in various languages, including Arabic, Hebrew, and Spanish.
Funding, Outlook and Transferability
Key2Enable partners with multinational companies that support the funding of various activities, such as the use of the Key-X keyboard, in private schools and rehabilitation centres. The hardware is sold via a monthly or yearly subscription fee, both by private users and business customers, and can also be rented. By the end of 2024, Key2Enable aims to introduce the Key-X device in all countries of the MENAT (Middle East, North Africa, and Turkey) region by organizing various events with selected partners, such as a roadshow with Microsoft and the Ministry of Education in Saudi Arabia, joint workshops with the University of Beirut, and training workshops in cooperation with Beit Berl College and the Ministry of Education in Israel.